Tree inspection and assessment

One of Council’s qualified arborists will inspect the tree/s and undertake a Visual Tree Assessment (VTA) based on the current health, condition and structure of the tree. Additional criteria are also taken into consideration including:

  • The environmental, cultural and amenity value of the tree
  • The effect on the health of the tree from pruning
  • Whether the tree shows poor form and shape/vigour typical of the species
  • Its location within 3 metres of a residence, main building or other significant structure
  • The occurrence (or lack of) other vegetation nearby and whether appropriate replacement species can be planted
  • Whether the tree is the identified cause of structural damage to a building, ancillary structure, water main or sewer and if all alternative options of remedying the damage have been considered.

This assessment does not constitute a determination that the tree poses no risk of harm or injury. Any application for tree removal, including perceived dangerous branch or trunk failure, should be accompanied with supporting information/evidence. This includes any documented and photographic history of branch failures, sewer blockages, arborist’s reports etc. Presenting this with the initial application provides a more complete history of the tree.

Council’s Tree Management Policy lists when an application may be approved and when an application may be refused.

Did you know?

A Visual Tree Assessment (VTA) is a world-wide arboricultural industry standard of assessing a tree/s from ground level looking for any external
signs of decay, physical damage or growth related structural defects.

This method ascertains whether there are grounds for removal or if there is a need for a more detailed inspection of any part of the tree. It does not include specialised assessments such as tree decay, aerial inspection, pathology diagnosis of any pests or diseases or risk assessment.

Do I need to be present when the officer inspects the tree?

No. However, you will be contacted to arrange a suitable time and access for the tree officer to inspect the tree. Should you wish to be present please indicate on the tree permit application.

Additional information

Council may request the applicant to provide an arborist’s report for more complex tree assessments such as an aerial inspection; fungal or pest problems; root mapping or root identification. Further supporting evidence may also be required from a structural engineer or licensed plumber if buildings or underground services are affected.

Tree replacement

Where approval is given to remove a tree, an advanced approved native species is planted to maintain urban canopy cover. This replacement tree is to be maintained in a healthy condition until it reaches maturity.

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